28 November 2014

4 homemade all-natural gifts under $10

In the spirit of limiting my contribution to consumerism this Christmas, I'm making quite a few gifts. I have to admit, I had a lot of fun on the weekend listening to holiday music, inhaling cinnamon sticks and oranges simmering on the stove, and getting crafty. It felt like I was a kid again! These gifts were made with joy. And a little dancing, if I'm being totally honest.

1. Lavender-scented bath salts. All you need here is epsom salts, lavender essential oil, dried lavender buds, and a mason jar. I found the vintage kind at a local antique market for a steal, but the new kind work just as well. I had dried a bouquet of lavender picked from the fields in Niagara-on-the-Lake this summer, so the buds were perfect for this (I plan on making lavender sachets with the rest).

DIY gift under $10; homemade natural bath salts,

Fill the jars half full will salts, add some buds and 5 drops of oil. Shake around. Fill the rest of the way; repeat. Tie up with some cord and a little kraft card and it makes a really pretty pampering gift for a friend.

homemade lavender bath salts

DIY holiday gifts in mason jars

2. Rosemary-infused olive oil. The rosemary from my summer patio was used up in this project, I'm proud to say. I mixed the rosemary leaves in a pot of EVOO and simmered on low heat for an hour or so - heat must be kept very low, as high heat and olive oil are a no-no. After removing from the burner, I let it sit for a couple of days with an airtight lid. In the meantime, I washed off the labels from the oil bottles and let dry thoroughly. You must be sure no water is left in the bottles, so that mold won't rear its ugly head once the rosemary goes in.

homemade natural gifts under $10

I then strained the loose rosemary leaves before pouring the oil back into the bottles, and then stuck a sprig or two of the fragrant herb inside the bottle, to continue the infusion process. A little jute wrap and I've got a gift for the amateur chefs I know.

homemade gifts for the chef

3. Mason jar terrarium. Aren't the tiny succulents and air plants that are everywhere these days adorable? And so easy to care for - so they make a great gift for office mates who may or may not have a green thumb. These terrariums are so easy to make - add rocks, sand, moss and air plants and voila - a mini zen garden for the desk. If you want to add succulents, add a bit of soil as well. Keep the lid off most of the time - these kinds of plants will need air. If you want a closed-lid variety, choose a tropical plant that thrives in moisture.

homemade terrarium air plants succulents

mason jar terrarium gifts

4. Mason jar natural holiday fragrance. This is really easy and smells soooooo good!! Throw cinnamon sticks, cloves, dried orange slices and tips of fir or cedar into a mason jar with instructions to empty into a pot, add water and simmer. I love this gift - I give one or two to myself each season!

natural air freshener for the holidays; handmade

homemade gifts in mason jars

There you have it - four easy handmade gifts, with all-natural, eco-friendly materials, and each under $10. Who else is with me on making gifts this year?


  1. Yes, I am definitely making my own Christmas presents this year! Flavoured salts, sugars, bath salts...all in pretty packaging!

  2. These all look so beautiful, and who wouldn't want some scented bath salts, or fragrant olive oil? Thank you for sharing your recipes.

    1. Thanks Beverly. These were all very easy, and yes, they smell heavenly!

  3. Lovely gift ideas! I love that many of these are fragrant gifts- pleasant work for the maker, as well.

    I love the tiny air plants. I haven't been able to find them locally. Where are the ones you used from?

    1. I've found the tiny air plants here in Burlington at CentroGarden downtown. One of my favourite shops, and also Terra Greenhouses carry them, though they are sometimes out of the tiny ones. I also spotted the tiny ones at West Elm in Toronto yesterday. Good luck!

  4. I live these ideas. The best gifts are handmade for sure.

    1. Handmade is great, and fun to make as well! Also now have a feel-good gift guide up for any gifts that need to be purchased! Hope you enjoy the holidays out West Lisa.


I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for making my day!